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Bob Leverone, Associated Press
South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore (21) uses his blockers, Walker Inabinet (91) and Terrence Campbell (60) to find space against East Carolina defense during an NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011. South Carolina defeated East Carolina 56-37.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Steve Spurrier found out he's got plenty of work ahead at South Carolina.

The Gamecocks coach was upbeat and enthusiastic this summer about the Gamecocks' chances to repeat as Southeastern Conference division winners and possibly take that next step to a league title.

Spurrier said that disappeared in a miserable half of football when the 12th-ranked Gamecocks fumbled four times and trailed East Carolina 24-14. It took a slew of second-half mistakes by the Pirates and a rally from benched quarterback Stephen Garcia for South Carolina to win 56-37 in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday night.

"Overall, we've got a long way to go," Spurrier said Sunday. "We're not a very good team right now."

Spurrier will have his hands full this week prepping the Gamecocks for their SEC opener at Georgia.